Search Of Truck Nets $2m In Drugs

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A routine traffic stop on Highway 87 Saturday afternoon yielded two arrests and more than $2 million worth of marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

Truck driver Albert Chrzaszcz, 36, of Surprise, and co-driver Jayson Lyle Shawd, 41, of Mesa, were arrested and charged with possession of a narcotic drug for sale, transportation of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of marijuana for sale, and transportation of marijuana for sale.

Around 11 p.m., July 18, an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officer stopped a white northbound tractor-trailer for an equipment violation on Highway 87 near milepost 231, about 19 miles south of Payson.

DPS officer Steve Montgomery, who did not make the initial stop, said the original violation was for something minor like a taillight. Once the officer spoke with the men, he became suspicious and asked for consent to search the truck, which the men agreed to, Montgomery said.

During a search of the semi, the officer located several pallets of produce. On one of the pallets, the officer discovered 8.7 kilos of a high-grade South American heroin with a street value of $452,400.

Officers also found 50 kilos of cocaine with a street value of $1.4 million and 300 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $157,500.

“For us up here, it is a pretty substantial amount to find,” Montgomery said of the bust.

Officers believe the truck came from the Valley, but they do not know where it was going. Both men were booked into the Gila County Jail in Payson.

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